BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Port of Baltimore seized a shipment of 2,400 switchblade knives and 1,200 butterfly combs from China on Friday for violating the federal Switchblade Knife Act.

The assessed domestic value of the 3,600 pieces is $26,568.

“Switchblade knives are generally illegal, and the blades and poorly constructed metal combs pose a significant threat to health and public safety,” said Ricardo Scheller, CBP port director for the Port of Baltimore. “Customs and Border Protection officers, import specialists and agriculture specialists pore over hundreds of thousands of commercial entries daily to ensure that each commodity fully complies with applicable federal laws and regulations and is safe for American consumers. We take this responsibility very seriously.”

CBP’s Baltimore Trade Enforcement Team unloaded the shipping container June 11 at its Centralized Examination Station and examined the container’s contents. On June 14, CBP officers detained the metal combs and knives that were shipped from China. The combs were constructed in such a way that allows easy removal of the comb and insertion of a knife blade. Moreover, officers determined that the sharp metal teeth of the combs could be potentially harmful to users if left as a comb.

After close examination, CBP import specialists determined Friday that the shipment was prohibited from entering the United States under the Switchblade Knife Act of 1958, which outlaws the importation, sale or possession of spring-assisted, automatically-opening knives in interstate commerce.

The assessed value of the switchblades is $17,712 and the combs are assessed at $8,856. The shipment was headed to an address in Baltimore.


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